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Antique Tibetan hand painted Torma Trunk C100-A12


Tantric Wisdom ~ Defeating Ignorance

Antique Tibetan chest handpainted tantric depictions
Tibetan Parasol on side of painted chest
front
left side
top view of Tibetan trunk with lotus blossom and yogurt symbols
Tibetan side view of painted trunk with good fortune symbols
top
right side

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Very unusual painting on the front; what should be an offering bowl is some type of golden stand that is unknown as to what it represents. It could be barley stalks as barley is a staple of the Tibetan diet and used in several rituals. All painted surfaces of this antique Tibetan Buddhist torma trunk are striking, with excellent fine line detail complimenting the stunning renderings of Tibetan Buddhist symbols. The front border of flowers is comprised of blue and red Chrysanthemums, it surrounds the front's rendering of a a one of a kind offering bowl filled with Cintamani and two sets of elephant tusks and the Precious Queen's earrings. Below the offering bowl are leopard and tiger skins covered with fine cloth; this of course has a very tantric significance. The sky is filled with cumulus clouds and bilva fruit shows prominently. The sides feature the auspicious Parasol and the Precious General's insignia along with yogurt as one of the Eight Bringers of Good Fortune. The top has a lotus surrounded by durva grass with yogurt in the corners. Please take time to read the iconography to get an understanding of the richness of karmic thought that comes with this trunk. The handles on the sides and the lid's closure are brass. The copper cladding on the corners is a late 20th century addition. The back has brass hinges that have propensity to break if the trunk is not opened with care. . The trunk has been cleaned as it had a layer of soot and wax on it which obscured the painting detail, after cleaning the painted parts were coated with a clear acrylic enamel to protect the painted surfaces. This trunk comes with a brush-signed Certificate of Authenticity signed by one of the monks at the Senge Monastery. There is also a map of the area, along with images of the living Buddha that blessed it.


Material: Oil pine & JUNIPER
Dimensions: W=19.9" H=15.75" D=10"
Age: mid-late 1800s

If you have questions contact David via email david@baronet4tibet.com

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Torma Trunk C100-A12 Price $975.00 plus crating and shipping = WEST COAST $88 ~ MTN $97 ~ MIDWEST = $102 ~ EAST COAST= $113. Contact David for a quote to other destinations.

Iconography

The front is bordered with red and blue Chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemum symbolizes autumn and the gathering of the harvest. In this case, it is a metaphor for achieving the goal of enlightenment and its accompanying peace. The blue represents compassion. Red is the transmutation of passion into compassion.

The center of the front has what I am perceiving as an offering bowl or stand; this can be distinguished from an alms bowl by the ornate design and the extended base. Offering bowls are not something that the practitioner is offering to the deities, but rather what the practitioner wants to acquire. Inside of the offering bowl is a stack of Cintamani, with the top jewel surrounded with flames making it the Precious 8-faceted jewel of Chakravartin. Flanking the Cintamani are two sets of elephant tusks, which by extension represent the entire elephant and again this is a precious possession of Chakravartin. On both sides of the offering bowl is bilva fruit. Below the bowl are leopard and tiger skins covered in precious cloth; the sky is filled with cumulus clouds.

Each side has a an Auspicious Parasol standing on a lotus throne. Floating around in the ether are yogurt, various Cintamani and the Precious General's insignia with Cintamani set behind to represent the four Petaled Flower that combines with the general's insignia to make the eight spokes of the Dharma Wheel. The handles on the sides are bats; they were designed to be used in the flying up position so the handle would not bang against the painted sides. However the called for depiction of bats in Tibetan symbology is in the down position, it is in this position that they deliver all of their blessings.

The top has a pheasant sitting on a lotus throne with an Ashoka blossom in front of it and a lotus blossom behind it. The background is filled with durva grass, with yogurt in the corners; both are part of the Eight Bringers of Good Fortune.

It is suggested that you purchase the book Symbolism in Tibetan Buddhist Art through your local bookstore or online to understand the deep richness of all of the symbols on this beautiful trunk. Hardcover, paperback and ebooks are available.

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